Global Passport Rankings In Henley Passport Index: Top 6 Nations Lead

The Henley Passport Index for the start of 2024 reveals that France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Singapore, and Spain claim the top position, boasting the world’s most powerful passports.

European Nations Rise: Shift in Passport Rankings

Traditionally dominated by Japan and Singapore for the past five years, this quarter’s ranking showcases European nations making notable progress. Finland and Sweden, tied with South Korea, secure the second position, offering visa-free access to 193 destinations.

Third Spot Secured: Austria, Denmark, Ireland, and the Netherlands

Austria, Denmark, Ireland, and the Netherlands jointly secure the third position in the passport rankings, providing passport holders access to 192 destinations.

India’s Passport Position: 80th Rank

India’s passport holds the 80th spot in the global ranking, with citizens enjoying visa-free travel to 62 countries, including popular tourist destinations like Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. India shares its current rank with Uzbekistan, while neighboring Pakistan is positioned at 101st.

Global Mobility Gap Widens: Insights from Passport Index Creator

Christian H Kaelin, Chairman of Henley & Partners and the passport index creator, highlights the widening global mobility gap. Despite an overall trend towards increased travel freedom, the index shows an all-time high disparity between the top and bottom positions.

Remarkable Increase in Visa-Free Destinations: Insights from Mr. Kaelin

Mr. Kaelin notes that the average number of visa-free destinations for travelers has nearly doubled from 58 in 2006 to 111 in 2024. He emphasizes that top-ranked countries now enjoy a significant privilege, with 166 more destinations accessible visa-free than Afghanistan, which occupies the bottom spot with access to just 28 countries without a visa.

Lowest Passport Rankings: Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Pakistan

The lowest positions on the passport index are occupied by Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, and Pakistan, with access to a limited number of countries without a visa.

About Henley Passport Index

The Henley Passport Index stands as a comprehensive global ranking, evaluating countries based on the travel freedom offered to their citizens through ordinary passports. Originating in 2006 as the Henley & Partners Visa Restrictions Index, the platform underwent a transformation and renaming in January 2018.

Mission and Scope

This annual index meticulously ranks 199 passports worldwide, shedding light on the number of countries accessible to passport holders without the need for a visa. Collaborating with the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Henley & Partners utilizes official data from the IATA global database, scrutinizing visa regulations across nearly all nations and territories since 2006.

Defining the Index

The Henley Passport Index assesses passports based on the count of destinations reachable with a particular country’s ordinary passport without prior visa requirements. Surveying 199 passports against 227 destination countries, territories, and micro-states, the index aligns its evaluation with the IATA’s extensive travel information database.

Methodology: How Scores Are Determined

The score for each country or territory is established through a meticulous process:

  • Comprehensive Database Check: Each of the 199 passports is cross-verified against all 227 potential travel destinations present in the IATA database, with ongoing updates throughout the year.
  • Stringent Criteria: Queries must meet specific conditions, such as the passport being issued in the country of nationality, the passport holder being an adult citizen traveling alone for tourism or business purposes, and the stay duration being a minimum of three days.
  • Further Conditions: Additional conditions ensure that queries focus on holders of normal passports, excluding diplomatic, service, emergency, or temporary passports. Other travel documents are disregarded.
  • Scoring System: A scoring system is employed where a passport scores 1 if no visa is required for entry, or if a visa on arrival, visitor’s permit, or electronic travel authority (ETA) can be easily obtained. A score of 0 is given if visas are needed or if passport holders must secure government-approved electronic visas (e-Visas) before departure.
  • Cumulative Scoring: The total score for each passport is calculated by summing up its scores for all destinations.
  • Exclusions: Temporary restrictions or airspace closures are disregarded, and the index does not consider factors like advance passenger information, advance approval to board, or airport tax requirements as visa restrictions.

In-depth Analysis and Considerations

The Henley Passport Index goes beyond a mere count of visa-free access, incorporating mobility data based on national GDPs and the percentage of global wealth accessible through the country’s passport. This multifaceted approach provides a nuanced understanding of global travel freedom disparities.

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